Refugees and IPDs, Occupied Citizens’ Houses, to be Provided with New Apartments

Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 June / Trend corr. K.Zarbaliyeva / The Azerbaijani Government will provide refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), who occupied citizens' houses, with apartment. This was told Trend by Asad Mirzaliyev, Judge in the Supreme Court. Mirzaliyev said that works have been carried out to provide refugees and IDPs with houses after Valentina Akimova's appeal to the European Court on Human Rights.

Complainant Akimova says that the property right in the protocol number 1 of the Convention on protection of human freedom was violated (Article1). One of the internally displaced families was placed in Akimova's apartment. Akimova could not use her apartment for a long period. The Azerbaijani Appeal Court recognized Akimova's right to the property. However, the court's decision can only be implemented after the liberation of the Azerbaijani occupied territories.

The judge said that certain problems occurred in fulfillment of such decisions. Although courts make decisions to release apartments occupied by refugees and IDPs, implementation of the decision is usually postponed until to liberate occupied territories. The decision made by the European Court says that the law norms are used correctly and there has been observed violation of citizens' right on fair judgment and property. The occupied apartment of citizens by refugees and IPDs will be released.

Mirzaliyev said that the State Committee on Work with Refugees and IPDs also carry out work to define the number of families. A special area will be allocated to build houses for refugees and IPDs.

Sanan Huseynov, Head of the news-service of the Committee on Work with Refugees and IPDs , told Trend that he was not informed about the works directed to improve living standards of refugees.

Huseynov did not approve that land plots were allocated to build houses for refugees and IPDs.

According to the Committee's official, after supplements in the State program on improvement of housing and domestic situation of refugees and IDPs and improvement of employment, which were passed in October 2007, it is now planned to improve living conditions of 220,000 IDPs.

The IDP list includes 6,227 families which are currently residing in 'Finnish houses', 11,000 in kindergartens and schools, as well as military units.

According to Huseynov, new houses are being constructed in the Goranboy region for 500 IDP families, Beylagan for 500 IDP families and Goygol for 596 IDP families.

In 2001-2007, 56 new settlements were founded for IDPs, 16,000 houses were constructed through the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ).

Chairman of the Supreme Court Ramiz Rzayev presented last year's results of at press conference, which mean the State will make concrete steps to solve the problems of those citizens in near future. "Solution for the problem has been found and it will be positively solved," Rzayev said. He did not comment on envisaged arrangements.

According to Rzayev, after June-July 2005, the Supreme Court suspended consideration of the appeals of the citizens whose flats were occupied by IDPs.

The Law 'On Social Protection of IDPs and the Persons Equal to Them' dated to 21 May 1999 says IDPs can permanently populate areas only in case of that does not infringe the rights and legal interests of other people. In such cases, adequate administration bodies shall ensure moving to IDPs to another residential area.

Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the Convention says any jural or natural person has right to freely use property. No one shall be deprived of his/her property in the interests of the society, except for conditions envisaged by common principles of the international law and rights. Though Court decided to resume the citizen' infringed right to property, implementation of the verdict was postponed till liberation of occupied regions.

Though in the case on Akimova, the Government admitted to the European Court that it had interfered, anyway it noted that as a result of occupation of Azerbaijani territory by Armenia, over 700,000 people became IDPs. Most of them are residing in administrative and state-owned buildings, refugee camps. Eviction of IDPs from permanent residences may leave them without housing and cause social tensions and a burst. Therefore, permanent restriction of plaintiff's rights was legal in terms of public interests.

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